Chile: September 11

Mary Johnson is a student at Southern Illinois University and is an ISA Classmates Connecting Cultures  blogger corresponding with the International Studies department at SIU. Mary is currently studying in Valparaiso, Chile on an ISA Fall 1 program.

September 11th has passed. As an American, I am familiar with what this day is significant of in my own country. However, this day means a lot in Chilean history as well.

All day I was expecting instructors, peers, or media to in some way address what had happened in their country on the 11th. I never hear or saw it. This could be for a number of reasons. The one that worries me the most is that they might not want to speak about it with U.S. exchange students because our country backed the coup d’état in Chile. I know there is so much to learn about what happened in the country during that time, but I’m still struggling to get over the language barrier.

Luckily, my Contemporary Latin American Film class has started its section on “Documentaries and fiction films– 1973-1990”. Thus far we’ve gotten to watch La Ciudad de los Fotógrafos and part of the film Machuca. Both are about there era of Pinochet’s regime.

La Ciudad de los Fotógrafos, was really gut wrenching. The film was about the role photographers played in publicizing what was happening in the country– “disappeared” people found in mines to children losing eyes. Although I know the film was biased (as is the youtube video above), I’m willing to assume I can make my judgement on where my beliefs are on the matter.

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